Friday, September 27, 2013
Back in the "old days" when I was on a "diet" I felt SO deprived on weekends. Food had always been my "major fun". Now be sure you read to the END of this blog because if you don't you won't have the "whole" story.
I STILL enjoy my weekends. I have a husband that travels with his work so this is "our time". Guess what? We STILL have fun! We STILL enjoy meals together. We STILL eat out. You may be thinking... how do you lose weight?
Like most people we have a favorite restaurant. I would call it upscale casual. We go there every Saturday for lunch. The ambiance is nice. The food is high quality and tasty. The servers know us. It's FUN to go there. It took some time but we figured out how to do this and NOT wreck my plan.
We SPLIT an entree! We drink ice water with lemon and order the steak sandwich, a cup of soup and mashed potatoes instead of fries. They split it in the kitchen and it's JUST the right amount of food. I further strip mine down by removing the top of my bread. We take our time and enjoy this weekly meal and it's only a hit of 595 calories. VERY doable! We also save money because we are only eating "one meal". This is my weekly "beef fix" and the potatoes are so tasty. I feel like it's a treat yet with this portion control I'm totally in range. I don't miss out on the experience of my favorite restaurant or meal and it's a highlight of my Saturday.
I usually allow myself some chocolate on the weekends. Sometimes I buy an Andes Mint at the cashier (10c and only 25 calories). It makes me feel like I had a treat - again for a tiny calorie hit. These are those small things that make the weekend still seem special. THEN I don't feel deprived when I come home and get back to my usual healthier food.
It's a lesson in moderation. Foods shouldn't have to be taboo IF you are disciplined enough to reduce your portions and frequency. Now... before I go any further I should tell you that it is important if you are "out of control" that you wait a bit to employ this technique. When I began I had to be very diligent to stick to my healthier choices as I had not yet matured enough in my journey to handle the precise portion control necessary to stay in range.
The other part of this equation was finding ACTIVITY that we both enjoyed. We found out we like to walk in parks and talk. That's a FUN weekend activity and also provides some good fitness minutes.
The last part of this weekend fun is doing something "special" (non-food). We try to find time for something every weekend, a special sporting event, games at home, a movie, something fun sans food (you have to be disciplined at the game or theater as well to avoid those snacks!)
Bottom line - Once you are cruising along on that road to "Health & Fitness" you can still have some "treat meals" if you keep your wits about you and keep the portions SMALL and make the rest of your meals balance it out with healthier choices.
This is why THREE years into this journey I'm not feeling bored, deprived or feeling like I'm a prisoner to a diet. I'm just LIVING in a healthier way.
By the way - I still track EVERY single bite of my food. THAT'S a great strategy and keeps those special meals to the proper size!
Get out and LIVE a little this weekend - just do it in a SMART way!